Lewis Hamilton says he’s grateful to escape ‘heavy injury’ as he slams Max Verstappen fans

Sir Lewis Hamilton crashed in qualifying ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday.

Sir Lewis Hamilton has criticised the fans who cheered his crash in qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday.

Hamilton and team-mate George Russell had both made it through the third and final qualifying session in Spielberg but, on his first real attempt at a push lap, the seven-time champion lost control of the rear of his car at Turn Seven, careering into the barrier, before Russell also crashed at Turn 10 after losing control of the rear.

Hamilton’s incident extracted cheers from the orange grandstands – many of whom are Dutch Max Verstappen fans – in an ugly show of poor sportsmanship.

It followed boos for Verstappen at last weekend’s British Grand Prix, where cheers could be heard at Vale, the old home straight and the Hangar Straight when the 24-year-old crashed at Copse following contact with Hamilton at the 2021 British Grand Prix.

READ: Lewis Hamilton reveals if driver error caused Austrian GP qualifying crash

Hamilton spoke out against fans cheering a crash, particularly before knowing if the driver involved is okay.

“I don’t agree with any of that, no matter what, a driver could have been in hospital and you are going to cheer that?” he said.

“It’s mind-blowing that people would do that, knowing how dangerous our sport is, I was grateful I didn’t end up in hospital and I wasn’t heavily injured.

READ: Mercedes mock themselves after Lewis Hamilton and George Russell crash in qualifying

Article continues below

“You should never cheer someone’s downfall or someone’s injury. 

“It shouldn’t have happened at Silverstone, even though it wasn’t a crash, and it shouldn’t have happened here.”

There have also been reports this weekend of racist and misogynistic abuse, as well as harassment, and Formula 1 has released a statement condemning the behaviour of some fans in Spielberg this weekend.

“We have been made aware of reports that some fans have been subject to completely unacceptable comments by others at the Austrian Grand Prix,” they said.

“We take these matters very seriously, have raised them with the promoter and event security, and will be speaking to those who reported the incidents.

“This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Verstappen will start the Austrian Grand Prix on pole after taking victory in the sprint race on Saturday, with Russell in fourth and Hamilton in eighth.